This is kind of a tricky question, and here’s why. In my last blog post, I defined self esteem as:

Confidence in one’s own worthiness of love and respect.

Based on that definition alone, I don’t believe there is such a thing as “too much” self esteem. However, a more precise definition of self esteem might be:

Confidence in one’s own worthiness of love and respect and belief that everyone else is worthy as well.

If you believe you are more deserving of love and respect than other people, that’s not self-esteem - that’s arrogance.

Arrogance isn’t “super self esteem” - it’s insecurity masquerading as the pathway to feeling better about yourself.

Arrogance is a love-blocking dysfunction. The arrogant person either preys on those with low self esteem (who agree they are less important), or attracts other arrogant people. The latter might sound like a decent pairing, but in truth - two people who think they are more important than the other do not a happy couple make.

It’s similar to the line between confidence and conceit - you can’t love yourself too much, but if you think your gifts make you a fundamentally more worthwhile or important person than anyone else, you’ve crossed the line past confidence into the land of the conceited.

Conceit, like arrogance, is ultimately the opposite of confidence. The conceited person is as falsely confident as the bully - a bundle of fear trying to use other people’s pain as a salve for their own.

But self esteem? Self esteem is like love - you can never have too much.

The person with self esteem can give and receive love with an open heart. Not because she’s perfect, but because she knows she doesn’t have to be.

Happy dating, beautiful human.

xo

Francesca

Hello Doll, 

I had a very painful at the time, but fortunate experience of once being fixated on a guy who I felt inferior to.

He was so much better looking and cooler than I was, or so I felt at the time. I was so in awe of him, and so wracked with insecurity I could never be myself around him.

I tried my hardest to be a version of me that I thought he might like - it seemed like I’d have a better shot if I could be more “like” him.

Well, he never liked “fake me”. And thankfully, one day I had a moment of clarity: If he did like me, and we actually started dating, then what would I do?? It would be a lot of work to keep up this facade.

And then I felt relieved. The spell lifted, and after months and months of agonizing self-doubt and obsessively thinking about him, I got over him in an instant.

With a clear head, I knew what I really wanted was someone to accept me for who I am - and I knew intuitively this guy was not that person.  

I got over him so quickly because what my obsession was really about was protecting myself.

Pining after an unattainable person is angst-producing, but ultimately “safe”. You don’t have to be vulnerable. You don’t have to develop the confidence to open yourself up to date anyone else.

I didn’t know back then that one day I would become a love coach. That idea would have been beyond laughable to me. (Assuming I could have even comprehended what a “love coach” was to begin with.)

I could never have guessed that I’d one day see a version of myself reflected back to me in hundreds of singles that I would encounter and counsel.

A whole lot of personal and professional experience has led me to identify four Love Mindset Archetypes - Avoider, Looper, Surfer and Sailor. Back then I was a classic Avoider. 

(If you haven’t already, you can find your Love Mindset Archetype HERE)

It took me a long time to develop the love confidence I needed to take control of my mindset and find love.

While I’m grateful for all of the tough love lessons I’ve learned over the years, I am committed to helping others avoid the same pitfalls. I am committed to doing my small part to help as many people as possible find the loving relationships they’re seeking.

As 2018 draws to a close, I invite you to reflect on your love lessons from this year. There’s always a lesson to found, especially from painful experiences. 

Don’t keep blindly doing the same things if you’re not happy with the results. Your love lessons have been hard won and have a lot of value if you’re willing to learn them. 

It’s not always easy, but “future you” will thank you for it. 

Want free 1-on-1 coaching to help you understand which actions you can take to find love? I have two options for you: 

Option 1: Win it! My Holiday Giveaway closes TONIGHT at midnight ET. Enter now! 

AND

Option 2: Schedule a complimentary 1-on-1 session with me HERE. There are only a few spots left in 2018! Reserve yours now. 

Have a beautiful weekend!

xo

Francesca

You can’t get something for nothing.

You’ve heard that a million times. I used to think it wasn’t true. I used to believe that way of thinking was cynical. That it didn’t account for serendipity, generosity or kindness.

But at some point, all of that changed. I realized that you must always be willing to give up something to get a new thing you want.

That something could be any number of things. It could be cynicism. It could be fear, or judgment, selfishness, or your fervent belief that you have all the answers. It might be money or lack of effort.

The something standing between you and your dreams could be nothing more than your attachment to your dream unfolding in a specific way.

The nothing, I realize now, is change. You can’t get something you want and expect everything to stay the same. You can’t expect to stay the same.

Want peace at your family’s holiday gatherings?

Are you willing to give up being defensive or judgmental?

Want to find time to go to the gym?

Are you willing to give up your nightly Netflix habit?

Want to find the love of your life?

Are you willing to give up your belief that love should “just happen”?

Once I realized that I had the power to effect change in my life, that was when major changes of my choosing began to happen. I found love when I decided my #1 job was to remove the obstacles standing between me and the relationship I dreamed of. It took some trial and error for me to clear those obstacles (the ones in my mind were the trickiest), but I got there.

And I know you can, too.

If you’re reading this, and you have a specific goal in mind, I want to hear about it. It doesn't matter if it’s finding love, or finding a new job, or training for a marathon, or taking your first solo trip abroad.

I’ve gotten pretty good at quickly assessing the “somethings” that hold people back.

Comment below and let me know your biggest goal, and what you think is standing between you right now and achieving it.

xo

Francesca

p.s. Have you entered my holiday giveaway yet? Don’t miss out on $2500 in prizes! 

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

The holidays are fully upon us. I write this today knowing that tomorrow, questions about your love life are bound to be as prevalent as turkey.

Here are four tips for how to handle being single during the holidays with grace and minimal annoyance:

#1 Plan Ahead

No matter what holiday you celebrate or where you celebrate it, it’s inevitable that some family member is going to ask you about your single status. Accepting the inevitability of the questions is key. When you go on a job interview, you expect to get asked why you want the job. You’d be advised to have an answer ready that will dazzle your potential employer.

The same goes for your cousin Mary, or your mom, or your Uncle Junior. Don’t just brace yourself for the questions, prepare for them. My advice is to be direct and also firm that it’s not a topic for Thanksgiving dinner discussion. Try something like:

”I haven’t met anyone special yet, but I’m on it! I will definitely let you know when I meet him.”

And smile. And then change the topic. If Uncle Junior persists, you can ramp it up:

”If you have someone to introduce me to, you should have brought him to dinner! Why didn’t you?”

Uncle Junior will likely be confused by this question and drop it. If your family is especially persistent, drop some data on them. If they want to talk about relationships, shift the focus from you:

“Did you know that for the first time ever, there are more unmarried adults in the U.S. than married ones? 60 million people are using dating apps. What do you think of that?”

Let them chew on that!

#2 Cultivate Your Zen

You might have an incredibly stressful family dynamic. It’s family and nothing can trigger you like someone you’re related to. However unfair it might feel that you have to deal with X, Y or Z dysfunction, the fact remains that you have to deal with it. Even if you’re not with your family over the holidays, if you’re thinking about family stress then it’s still impacting you.

No one else is responsible for your emotional state but you. Accepting others for where they are and who they are is not letting them off the hook - it’s protecting your all-important zen.

Of course you’re impacted by other people’s words and actions. That makes you human. But you can’t control what others say or do. The only thing you can control is your reaction to other people.

I’m not saying it’s easy. But it is necessary.

What do you need to do to take care of yourself this season? Saying no can be a form of self care. Practicing deep breathing will pay dividends. Reminding yourself that others are doing the best they can with the tools they have is a form of self care.

Repeat after me: ommmmmmmmmmmm.

#3 Don’t Project

Chances are, you’re touchy when it comes to your family interactions. Your friend and your mother can say essentially the same things to you and your mom is the one who can send you on a spiral.

Sometimes your mom is absolutely criticizing or judging. And other times - it could amount to minor comment in reality, but to you it feels like a huge slap in the face.

Your cousin asking “So what’s going on with you?” Might feel like she’s saying “So, loser - tell me. You still single?”

Here’s your holiday reminder that your FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS.

We’ve already established that you are human, and so naturally you feel sensitive about certain topics. Your family member could be completely out of line, or you could be projecting your own insecurity onto their motivations.

When in doubt, take a deep breath. (Really - do this as often as you can remember. It really helps.) And then see #2 above.

Ommmmmmmm.

#4 Take A Pass On the Free Guilt Trip

Few things get under my skin like someone guilting me. I have a rebellious streak, so guilt trips usually lead me to do the opposite of what the guilter wants me to do. This can lead to “cut off your nose to spite your face” choices, which is not recommended.

In my quest to deal more effectively with guilt trips, I endeavor to do the thing that is most aligned with maintaining my zen. This means that sometimes I can see that the guilter has a point and other times they are truly wasting their breath and I smile and go about my life.

When someone attempts to make you feel guilty this holiday season, choose to pass on reacting. It takes two to tango, or in this case agree to go on a guilt trip.

You’re traveling enough this holiday season. That’s not a trip you need.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xo

p.s. It’s not too late to change your love life before the end of 2018 - reserve your free call HERE and find out how.

Over the past few years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of single women who are looking for love. Some of them have been clients, some friends, and some strangers.

It probably comes as no surprise to you the topic of money comes up:

“I want to meet a man who is financially secure.”

“I want to meet a man who has his own money so he won’t spend mine.”

“I want to meet a man who makes at least $500,000, has at least $150,000 in liquid savings, owns his home, and can afford to pay for private school and college for all the children we’ll have one day.” (This is a real quote.)

If you can relate to any of the above, you are likely living a life far beyond your grandmothers’ dreams. You might have an advanced degree and/or a high salary, and/or a well-worn passport, and/or many professional accomplishments.

I can relate because I too am living a life my grandmothers couldn’t have imagined. I have been single and “out there” as a professional woman, wondering if I’ve educated and globetrotted myself out of finding a great and equal partner. (Spoiler alert: I did find a great and equal partner, but not before kissing my share of proverbial frogs.)

So ladies, I get it. You want a man who can relate to you and your experiences. However, without even realizing it, you might be blocking yourself from love with outdated expectations of what your dream man should look like and how much money he “should” make.

Why I’m Talking About Money

When money is one of your main requirements to even get to a “maybe” for a potential partner, dating feels really hard. You’ve got to find someone available, who’s into you, who you’re into, who wants the same kind of relationship that you do. Are those men growing on trees? Now add “makes more money than you” to the list - are you meeting tons of guys who fit that bill?

It’s a shame that money is often a love roadblock, especially when 95% of the single women I talk to are using money as a proxy for something else.

(The remaining few who say they want someone to take care of them financially so they don’t have to work. If that’s the most important thing to you - no judgments. We all have our priorities.)

For most women, their focus on money isn’t about wanting someone else’s - it’s about wanting a traditional, “old-fashioned” relationship dynamic where the man is the primary breadwinner.

There are two reasons why I’ve found focusing on how much money a man has is a bad strategy when you’re looking for love. My reasons have nothing to do with money not being important - of course money is important. They also have nothing to do with rich people being bad, or greedy.

Here’s why:

Reason #1 - A Rich Guy Might Be the Opposite of the Person You’re Actually Looking For

When it comes to any of the must-haves on your dream man “list” my philosophy is this - have a list as long as you like, so long as you actually break down why every item on the list is important and relevant to your actual relationship.

Money is no exception.

When it comes to money, the “whys” I hear most often are some version of:

“Because I don’t want to be a sugar mama.”

“So he’s not intimidated by me.”

“I want to live a certain lifestyle and I can’t/don’t want to pay his way.”

“Because when I dated guys with less money in the past, it didn’t work out.”

I am not at all negating any of the feelings that have led you to want a man who is financially successful. And I’m not saying in order to find love you have to date someone broke.

What I am saying is - the sooner you challenge the assumptions in your “whys”, the sooner you’ll meet someone who is truly compatible with you. Find the real why underneath your “why” and focus on that.

Let me break down the above sentiments to show you what I mean:

“Because I don’t want to be a sugar mama.”

Can you spot the big assumption in this statement? The assumption is - if you date a man with less money than you, that means you have to support him financially.

I’ve seen women spend loads of money on men who are dead broke, and on men who have plenty of their own money. If you don’t want to be a sugar mama - don’t be.

A better strategy is not to date men who are looking for a sugar mama.

Believe it or not, there are men who will take your money, your expensive gifts, exotic vacations, etc. who are fully financially capable of paying their own way. And there are men who have far less money who would never dream of taking advantage of you.

If you don’t want to be taken advantage of, focus on the character of the men you date. That’s a better indicator of who can satisfy your real why.

“So he’s not intimidated by me.”

This is a big one. HUGE.

It’s no fun repeatedly being told you’re intimidating. Believe me, I know. You are right to want a man who isn’t threatened by your success.

The assumption here is that if a man makes a lot of money, he’ll be confident and unintimidated and a cheerleader for you and your success.

Guess what? I know from personal experience dating highly successful men with far more money than me that this is not always the case.

You’re making an understandable, but nonetheless incorrect assumption - the assumption that money = confidence.

I hate to bring him up, but we have a current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who is undoubtedly the least secure man who’s ever occupied that office, and also one of, if not the richest.

Rather than assuming his money will make your man comfortable with your success and ambition, focus on dating men who are comfortable with your success and ambition.

There are men who make less than you who fit this bill. There are men who make more who don’t.

Find the men who root for your success. Who think you’re the bomb.com, and rather than be intimidated by your awesomeness, they celebrate it.

By focusing on that, not only do you dramatically open up your pool of potential partners, but you also focus on your real why - the thing that directly impacts the quality of your future relationship.

“I want to live a certain lifestyle and I can’t/don’t want to pay his way.”

Assumption: you have to live exactly the same lifestyle in the future that you do now.

This is a tough one, I know. When I say this to women, this is usually the hardest pill to swallow.

Tough love time:

You have to decide what is most important to you in life, and choose accordingly. And carefully.

When you partner with someone for the long haul, your lifestyle changes in any number of ways. This is especially true if you’ve been single for a long time.

Just because your man might not be able to afford all the things you are used to enjoying doesn’t mean that will always be the case. And it doesn’t mean he’s using you if you pay for some things that are very important to you that he can’t afford.

If you’re single and you’re looking for love, you are wishing for a profound change in your life. You can’t simultaneously have change and keep everything the same. Believe me - I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work. An open heart requires being ready to merge your life with another’s.

Is it worth giving up a first class trip every year in favor of something more affordable for you both to have the love of your life? Is it worth dining out less often to have an amazing, loving partnership? Maybe you have to live in a different neighborhood, or even move to a different city to have a more affordable lifestyle.

And guess what else? There are men who have a lot of money who still don’t want to live the same lifestyle as you. In The Big Leap, the author Gay Hendricks talks about a billionaire client of his who constantly criticized his wife for buying expensive toilet paper. As Hendricks says, “fights about money are never about money.”

No matter what, relationships require compromise. It’s time to let go of your “everything stays the same” fantasy in order to open up the possibility of something deeper and more beautiful than you could have previously imagined.

“Because when I dated guys with less money in the past, it didn’t work out.”

This always reminds me of years ago when a friend was recovering from having her heart broken. Her ex-boyfriend had a lot of body hair and was the same height as her, both factors that always bothered her about him - she always wished he was less hairy and significantly taller.

When he broke up with her, her reaction was: “I’m never dating anyone hairy or who isn’t taller than me ever again.” When I suggested that his complete aversion to intimacy, emotional or otherwise was the real culprit, she wasn’t interested in hearing it. She wasn’t ready to face the real why.

Well, most relationships don’t work out. If you’re single now, it didn’t work out with anyone you’ve dated in the past. What was the real culprit?

Was it his lack of money that was the problem, or was it his comfort with sitting back and letting you support him? Was it that he was intimidated by and resented your success, instead of rooting for it? Was he an opportunistic user who saw you as his meal ticket?

I agree that you should absolutely not date anyone who meets those descriptions!

Your past relationships, no matter how painful have man lessons to teach you, if you’re willing to learn. (Especially when they’re painful.) If you want to do better next time, be happier, be in a relationship that lasts - look at your real why - and prioritize the character traits that align with those needs, not the superficial ones.

Reason #2 - You’re Not Actually Old-Fashioned

I once worked with a client who was in her mid-40s, a doctor, never married, who had been single all of her adult life. In one of our first conversations, she told me she wouldn’t date anyone who had been divorced, had kids, or didn’t make as much money as she did.

When I pushed her to think of her “whys” her answer was “That’s how I was raised and that’s how I always thought it would be. I want to be his first wife and I want us to have children for the first time together. I want him to be capable of taking care of our family, even if I can. I’m old-fashioned that way.

I had to break it to her that no - she was not actually old-fashioned. Her thinking might be, her fantasy might be, but she was not. Back in the “old days” there were not unmarried 40-something women doctors. Back in the “old days” mid-40’s women were not in a position to still plan on having biological children. Back in the “old days” if you were unmarried in your 40’s, chances were you weren’t getting married, ever.

To what era do your love expectations belong? When women didn’t work outside of the home, then yes - we needed a man who could financially support us and our children. It was a necessity.

It’s almost 2019. For the first time in history, there are more women enrolled in college than men. The “old-fashioned” ideal was born of a pragmatism that isn’t relevant to you. You are not “old-fashioned”. You’re not going to have a home cooked meal waiting for your man every night when he gets home from work. You didn’t get married at 22. You have degrees and a career and complete agency over your life.

You are part of a generation of women who are changing the world - who already have, despite the enormous obstacles we still face in navigating the patriarchy.

The rules have changed, rapidly. It’s no wonder so many people are confused about how to navigate them. It’s not easy for any of us to challenge our assumptions about how things “should” be. However, if you want to find a loving partnership in our hyper connected world, it’s time to write your own rulebook. One that’s based on values and relationship needs and shared relationship goals.

You very well might end up with a generous and supportive billionaire to spend your life with. Your first class lifestyle will be the icing on the cake, but the real cake is the character of your partner. Start prioritizing that, and money won’t be a love obstacle for you any longer.

xo

Francesca


“God, he was so into me and I just walked away.”

”Why did I stay in that relationship so long?”

”I wasted years pining after him.”

”If only I hadn’t flipped out and said all of that, we might still be together.”

”Cheating on him was the biggest mistake of my life.”

And on and on and on. And on.

Since time travel isn’t a thing we can do yet, I hear a lot of stories of romantic regret. I have my fair share of “what ifs” too. As a recovered Avoider, romantic regret was my status quo for years.

(Want to learn your Love Archetype? Take the Dating Diagnosis quiz HERE.)

Through my experience helping my clients overcome those feelings of regret, as well as turning my own regrets into lessons, these 3 steps are cheaper than therapy and will keep you from repeating the same mistakes in the future.

#1 Develop Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is a super underrated life skill. It doesn’t mean you don’t take responsibility for your actions. It doesn’t mean you don’t apologize to people you’ve mistreated.

Self-compassion is acknowledging your choices while simultaneously understanding that you did the best you could at the time with the tools you had.

Imagine a child who acts out by intentionally breaking a toy because she doesn’t have the ability to process her frustration, hurt, etc in any other way at that precise moment. Should that kid spend the rest of her life viewing herself as an impulsive and destructive person? Or should she understand that as a young child, she did the only thing she knew how to do?

The same applies for us grownups. In many ways, we’re still that same small child we once were. And we are deserving of the same compassion.

Oprah defines forgiveness as “giving up the hope that the past could be different” and that’s how I view self-compassion. Forgiving yourself for the past, in order to free yourself in the present and the future.

#2 Learn Your Trigger

I used to have this knee-jerk reaction to say no to emotionally available guys who directly expressed interest in me. I much preferred the emotionally unavailable type, as it allowed me to stay “safe” from a true experience of vulnerability.

I know a man who always cheats on his partner when he feels he has some reason to mistrust her. Once he feels she’s being secretive, that triggers him to sabotage the relationship by cheating, and paradoxically - becoming the untrustworthy one.

When you look back at your regrets, what were your triggers? What was the emotion that caused your reaction in that moment?

It’s important for you to identify the feeling underneath your regretful action, because guess what? You’re 100% guaranteed to feel that feeling again.

There’s nothing like a romantic relationship to bring to the surface some of your deeply held fears.

Once you’ve got your trigger figured out, move on to the final step:

#3 Make A Plan

It bears repeating - you will experience those past emotions again. After all, humans don’t have millions of emotions to chooose from - we only have 4 or 6, depending on which researcher you ask.

That means you’ll feel sad again, angry again, etc. If feeling vulnerable has triggered anger in the past, it’s safe to say it will do the same in the future. The circumstances might be different, but our triggers love to find new and unexpected ways of popping up.

When you know something potentially fraught is bound to occur in future, you’d be wise to come up with an action plan.

If you don’t know what to do when you feel triggered, the best course of action is always to stop and breathe. Don’t say anything, don’t do anything. Don’t lash out. Don’t withdraw entirely. Don’t repeat your past mistakes. Acknowledging why you’re feeling what you’re feeling will give you an instant sense of control over your emotions.

If you need time to process what you’re feeling, take the time. Communicate that you need the time. Choose to find a way to do better.

My yoga teacher Anthony Benenati always says “basic doesn’t mean easy” and I believe that wisdom applies to the above. These are basic steps. But they might feel really hard to do. They were for me, at least at first.

You can’t expect to beat yourself up and do better at the same time. You can’t gloss over your “why” or blame your actions on another person. They’re your actions, and only you can choose a different way of dealing with romantic relationships in the future.

You haven’t missed the boat. You didn’t blow your only chance at love. There are more opportunites to do better. There are new loves out there for you to meet.

Your only job is to clear the obstacles standing between you and the love you want. Those regrets swimming through your head are obstacles, especially if they’re keeping you stuck in the past.

Whether you believe everything happens for a reason, or you believe the universe is random, the fact remains that your past provides lessons and insights that you can choose to use to your benefit today.

Need help understanding what you can do to find love in the future? Book a free coaching session with me HERE and I will show you how.

xoxo

Francesca

Another year, another dreaded conversation about your love life with your Aunt Ida...

Is one possibility for the holidays this year. Another possibility  is a love breakthrough before New Year’s Eve!

Imagine going into 2019 with the goal of finding love and the mindset and tools to finally make it happen. 

I know which one I’d choose. 

Get coached for free - reserve your 1-on-1 Dating Strategy Session with me and start to change your love life in one 30 minute call.

There are only few more slots available for 2018! Don’t miss out - reserve yours now. 

xoxo

Francesca

You already know it’s Cuffing Season, but it hasn’t yet reached its peak. That won’t come until 2019, when the combination of the desire to pair off during colder weather and the start of a new year create an online dating lollapalooza come January.

It all peaks on the busiest day of the year for online dating - the first Sunday of the New Year. It’s a well-established phenomenon year in and year out, and it tells us what we already know - when you’re single and don’t want to be, there’s no time of year like the beginning of the year to feel motivated to find love.

The New Year’s Resolution to find love leads to a flurry of dates in January leading up to Valentines Day in February.

It sounds like a great plan in theory, but in reality fewer than 10% of New Year’s Resolutions will succeed. Why? Because we try to use willpower to overcome our old habits, rather than forming a strategy to create lasting change. 

You can power through using your willpower for awhile, but willpower can only do much.

A few bad dates can be enough to completely sap your willpower and derail your hopes for finding love.

So what do you do if you want to find love in 2019? Or how about in 2018?? That’s right - 2018’s not over yet! You can absolutely meet your someone special in time to hang the mistletoe together.

Instead of making a resolution to find love 2019, try a more effective method.

Resolve to start seeing yourself as a love magnet, starting now. Resolve to examine whatever love blocks are standing between you and your dream relationship.

Some, if not all of those blocks are unconscious, but once you identify them, they begin to lose their power over you.

Resolve to make giving and receiving love your new habit. If you do that, the relationship you want will follow, guaranteed. You’ll attract a different kind of person, you’ll show up differently in your actions and your thoughts will align with what you want to happen, rather than what you fear might happen.

If you’re reading this and thinking “easier said than done”, I invite you to reserve a free 1-on-1 coaching session with me. No matter how far away love feels for you right now, love is possible for you. I’ve helped 100+ singles see what’s possible for them, and actually find it!

Bring me your biggest love challenge and I will show you how you can start to overcome it, starting today.

xo

Francesca

How to Actually Do Better Online Without It Being Overwhelming

 Here we are at Part 8! Thank you for sticking with me this far. In case you missed it, here’s what we’ve covered so far:

Part 1: Setting and acting in accordance with your love intention

Part 2: Showing your true self and sharing the right story

Part 3: How not to be a cliche online

Part 4: How many people to message to go on actual dates

Part 5: How to write a great message

Part 6: How to move from chatting online to dating IRL

Part 7: How to go on a first date

For this last post, I’m giving you some parting words of wisdom. This is especially for you if you feel overwhelmed by all the info in Part 1-7.

 Tip #8 You don’t have to be perfect, online or off, to meet your special someone.  

There are people who do the opposite of the advice I’ve given here and still luck out and meet someone amazing, they fall in love and live happily ever after, etc.

It’s like getting rich – some people inherit riches, some people work hard to earn them, and some people win the lottery.

If you weren’t born rich, but you really, really want to be rich, what would you do? You might work hard, invest money, save, etc. Or you roll the dice, literally and figuratively, and hope you hit the jackpot without really “trying”.

Which strategy is most likely to succeed?

In love, we’re all playing the lottery to some extent. There is luck, serendipity, and even fate involved in us finding the right person at the right time.

I’ve given you the advice that’s worked for hundreds of people I’ve worked with and spoken. A lot of it I learned the hard way from my online dating days.

You don’t have to do everything perfectly online to find love. However, I urge you to at least pick ONE THING and do it better than you have up until now.

Maybe you commit to getting new photos, or sending 10 engaging messages this week. Perhaps your goal is to pivot to an in-person date with all of the people you’re presently texting.

The one thing you choose to do could be the thing that gets you in love and offline for good!  

Don’t rely on the lottery. Make an investment of time and effort for the best reward ever – love!

If you’d like to talk 1-on-1 with me about to shortcut your path to love, book your free Dating Strategy Session with me HERE.

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AuthorFrancesca Hogi

How to Actually Date Online Without Wasting Your Time

“Online dating” is kind of a misnomer, because you’re not actually dating until you’ve started going on, you know - dates. When you’re meeting someone for the first time who you’ve connected with online, there are some best practices to follow, especially for women.

Tip #7

It might be considered boring to some, but your first date should be low-cost and low time commitment. This is for your benefit. No matter how amazing someone might seem online, you can’t really know until you’ve met in person.

A coffee or drink date is only boring if you are. Get your coffee to go and take a walk together. Have a drink at a fun bar (where you can still hear each other).

Your first date should NOT be:

  • Dinner (or any other meal)

  • A show

  • A sporting event

  • Anything where you’re making a commitment of hours of your time.

Similarly, first dates should be in an easily accessible public place.

It should go without saying not to give out your address (but I’ll say it anyway). Don’t let someone you don’t yet know pick you up. Arrange your own transportation and meet somewhere you feel safe.

If possible, schedule a “hard out” so you have to leave the date after an hour.

When you really hit it off with someone, I know how easy it can feel to keep talking, let drinks turn into dinner, etc. Especially when it’s been awhile since you made that kind of connection with someone.

Rather than being sad about having a short date, look at it this way - if you really hit it off, it’ll be SO exciting to see them again for a full-blown date!

If someone doesn’t want to see you again after a fun date, it could be because either they weren’t that into you even though they had a good time (their loss!) OR that they know you’re looking for something more serious than they are.

It can feel like a complete bummer when a promising first date goes nowhere. Just know that you’re one person closer to meeting YOUR person.

See you tomorrow for the final post of this series!

xo

Francesca

How to Actually Go From Chatting to Meeting In Person

If your online chatting goes nowhere more often that not, you’re not alone. There are millions and millions of people who have the same experience.

Partly, this is necessary. Those initial messages are a way for you to determine if this person is a potential date. Most of the time, people will do something or say something to take themselves out of the running, so-to-speak.

The “weeding out” is par for the course and it’s a good thing.

What isn’t good is when the only reason two interested people don’t go out because they get distracted, lose the conversational momentum, or drift into chat buddy status.

What a huge waste of time if you’re looking for an actual IRL relationship!

Tip #6 Pivot!

You might hesitate to be the one to broach the IRL date subject for fear of being too forward, desperate or because you feel it’s the other person’s “job” to ask you out.

Do you want to meet someone or don’t you?? If you want to have a chatting buddy and spend more of your life swiping into the void, hang on to those old beliefs.

Otherwise…

Once you’ve been having a back and forth about Istanbul, your holiday travel plans, your favorite ramen spot, etc, it’s time to pivot the conversation to planning an actual date.

There is no exact formula for when to pivot. Some people suggest a pivot after 4 messages. 4 might or might not be enough in any given situation.

My advice? Rather than focus on one number, you should pivot when you feel like you’ve established some rapport.

For Example:

You’re so right, Fatburger is so much better than In-N-Out! How come everyone doesn’t agree with us?? I think that warrants us at least having a drink or cup of coffee. Let me know if you’re up for it!

OR

Well, you have great taste in Halloween costumes! Let me know if you’d like to get together for a drink sometime soon.

OR

It’s kind of a long story of how I ended up living in Alaska for a year. I’ll tell you in person if you’re interested! :) Wanna grab a tea or a smoothie sometime?

The above aren’t “clever” or “playing it cool” - they’re straightforwardly letting the other person know you’re not here for a chatting buddy, you’re here for a date. It puts the ball in their court

LADIES, I’M TALKING TO YOU! This isn’t “pursuing” a guy - it’s giving him a chance to take the ball and run with it.

Otherwise, it’s far too easy for the momentum of that conversation to be lost - and then… womp womp. You end up feel like online dating is a waste of your time. You will lose some folks at this stage - but that’s OK.

NOT EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.

Some people have no intention of meeting up. Some people aren’t the person they’re representing themselves to be. Some people are looking to hookup, and if you’re trying to have an actual conversation, they’re not interested.

Remember your end game.

The messaging part will and should weed some people out of consideration. That’s fine! NO more time wasted and now you’re free to move on to someone who is actually on the same page as you.

How to Actually Send a Message Someone Will Want to Respond To

(If you’re just joining us, check out Parts 1-4!)

Tip #5 What To Say

Most people get stumped at the messaging part and totally whiff it. They either don’t say anything at all, or they default to something underwhelming like “Hi.”

Hi” is a bad message because it puts the burden on the recipient to keep the conversation going. For example:

Person 1: Hi

Person 2: Hi

THE END


In the improv comedy world, the first rule is that in a scene, you always say YES, AND. Example:

Person 1: Wow, that’s a really cool parrot on your shoulder.
Person 2: Thanks! And that’s a really cool - OMG is that a porcupine on your shoulder?

I’m not saying the above example is funny, but at least it has momentum. Person 2 accepts the premise (parrot on the shoulder) and adds to it. It keeps the scene going. Otherwise, it looks like this:

Person 1: Wow, that’s a really cool parrot on your shoulder.

Person 2: Thanks.

THE END

Not only is that definitely not funny, but it goes nowhere, which is one of the biggest problems online. Now Person 1 has to think of something else to say and in both the improv and online worlds, that’s a huge no-no.

If you want to send a message someone will actually respond to, take a look at the below and see how the “yes, and” principle applies. The “and” is the question, which makes it easy for the other person to respond to you.

Person 1: Hi! Where are you in that second photo? Is that Istanbul?

Person 2: Hi! Yes, it is! I just went there for the first time in May. Have you been?

Person 1: How’d you like it? My mom is Turkish and most of her family lives in Istanbul, so I’ve been going there to visit most of my life. What brought you there?

Person 2: That’s so cool. I loved it. One of the most beautiful places I’ve been. I went because I try to visit a new city each year and I heard good things. Where else do you like to travel?

The above flows because it has momentum. Each message ends in a question. They don’t have to talk about Istanbul forever, but it’s a great starting point.

Your initial messages do not have to be:

  • hilariously funny

  • super creative

  • witty

  • flirtatious

The only thing you need to be is: conversational and interested. All the other stuff comes later if and when you meet each other.

Finding something specific in the person’s profile to comment on makes it a lot more likely they’ll respond.

(Bear this in mind when it comes to your profile. Make sure it’s not so generic it would difficult to pick something out to start a conversation.)

Yes. And? Yes. And? Yes. And? Let that be your new online mantra!

See you tomorrow for Part 6!

Hi there!

Over the next eight days I am going to share my 8-part guide to online dating. Because, let’s face it - there are tens of millions of people in the U.S. alone who are as likely to meet someone online as I am to qualify for the U.S. gymnastics team.

But unlike me being a 5’11” middle aged non-gymnast, those people CAN meet someone online. They just won’t because they’re doing online dating all wrong.

The tips in this post are for you only if you’re using online dating (or thinking about using online dating) as a tool to help you find love.

If you’re looking for hookups or to use dating apps for an ego boost, no judgments - but this advice doesn’t apply to you.

Since you’re still reading, that tells me that you’re prioritizing genuine connection over superficial interactions. Everything you do online should align with this goal.

MOST PEOPLE ARE TERRIBLE AT ONLINE DATING. But not you! At least, not if you follow these tips.

Here we go:

#Tip 1 Begin With The End In Mind

Keeping the end, or “long game” in mind means:

  • NOT misrepresenting yourself in any material way - age, education, marital status, profession, etc.

  • NOT pretending to want something you don’t - if you are looking for love, don’t “play it cool” and act like you’re not.

  • NOT retouching your photos to make yourself look thinner or younger or otherwise different than you look right now.

  • NOT using outdated photos.

  • NOT using group photos. (No hiding!)

The end game is meeting and connecting with someone who wants YOU - as you are, right now. Someone who wants you and wants the same things as you. If you want kids, don’t be shy about it and pretend you don’t. What’s the point? Attracting someone who doesn’t want kids when you do is self-sabotaging.

Retouched photos might get you more matches, but why put yourself in the position of someone being disappointed when they see you?? That’s one of the great mysteries (and frustrations) of online dating. Don’t be that person.

If you have a dating profile up somewhere - anywhere - Tinder, Bumble, Match, OKCupid, wherever - go review it right now. Including your photos. Are you guilty of any of the don’ts above? Is your profile an accurate reflection of who you are and what you’re seeking?

If not, I implore you to fix it! Trust me on this one. See you tomorrow for Part 2!